Magical Thinking is Keeping You Stuck | TMOHP Episode 047

We all know that there’s often a difference between a quick fix and a real, lasting solution, but when it comes to changing overeating habits, diet mentality has probably almost hypnotized you with the idea of the magical, instant answer or the perfect eating plan. Most of us know that there is no magic pill that stops overeating or causes instant weight loss - but a part of your brain is very likely hoping that there is.

And this can cause problems.

Problems like not recognizing the things that really work for you and that are creating real success. Problems like blaming yourself for a lack of lasting results - when you aren’t the source of the problem. Problems like being stuck trying to make the same old things work - when they aren’t even designed to give you the results that you actually want. And problems like believing that there’s something wrong with a solution that gives you time and space to design things in a way that fits you.

In this episode, I’m covering how magical thinking and diet mentality might be keeping you stuck and the bigger, better possibility that I believe you deserve.

What I cover in this episode:

  • How diet culture and magical thinking can keep you stuck or blaming yourself
  • The difference between quick weight loss and freedom from overeating
  • How magical thinking might be preventing you from sticking with what is already working
  • Why being patient and allowing yourself time might not feel the dreadful way your thoughts tell you it will

Featured on the show:

Episode Transcript

Today I want to talk with you about magical thinking. And specifically, I want to talk with you about how having ideas about magical thinking and magical solutions is probably keeping you stuck and you might not even be aware of it. The truth is that we all want easy, and I think that we all maybe secretly hope that there is an instant solution. A quick fix. We want something that's going to end our struggles really quickly and magically. One that will give us the results we want right away. Diet culture prays on and even cultivates this belief in a magical fast path to results. 

A part of our brain knows it's a lie. But the funny thing about brains is that we can think two things at once. We can think opposing things at once. A part of our brain knows that this idea of a magical solution and instant, quick fix is a lie. And, we know it's a lie because that result that you crave? It isn't the result of being strong enough. Strong enough to do something really hard or to eat in a really rigid, disciplined way, and then wonder for the rest of your days, how long you can continue to do it.

That isn't the result that you probably want. At least it's not the result that my clients want. My clients want to break the old patterns. The patterns of eating behaviors and the patterns of their thinking that leads to the ways of eating that isn't working for them. They want to lose their cravings, not fight them, or have to be strong in opposition to them. They want to lose their cravings. They want to think about food differently. They want to enjoy it and savor it. Stop eating before they're overly full. They want to enjoy their relationship with food, but not be focused on their relationship with food. So many minutes of the day, they want to stop feeling deprived and hungry.

They want to have options for handling things like stress or anxiety or boredom. Things that are not revolving around eating when they aren't hungry, they want to not feel like “I find myself in the kitchen and I need to eat when these things are happening. And I don't know what else to do.” This is what my clients want.

And I would imagine that some of these things are part of what you want. Do they want to lose weight sometimes? And they want to achieve this goal of losing this weight, using a different approach with a solid foundation that is designed to create that result in a lasting way. They don't want to keep revisiting the struggle over and over again.

I talk a lot about your relationship with food, and it's an important phrase. I feel very strongly about it. I help my clients create their new, better, enjoyable relationship with food. Their relationship with food and with eating and with their lives, which is so different from changing a number on the scale.

So here's the hard part after a lifetime of diet mentality, which is teaching us that magical results await us the process of creating a new relationship with food. It just doesn't feel very sexy. It may not even feel right. And if you aren't expecting it, those old thoughts are going to drop in and sabotage you, even if you are convinced and you have decided, what I really want is a new relationship with food.

I want that new foundation. I want that new way of being and behaving and thinking with food. So I'll give you an example. I recently heard from somebody who had started listening to my podcast just a few weeks ago. And she was excited. She told me that it had opened her eyes to this whole new way of thinking about her eating habits.

She really hadn't thought about, well, she hadn't thought outside of diet mentality. And so this idea about the reasons that you overeat and paying attention to them and building a new foundation was very exciting to her. And she was beginning to understand some of these reasons. Behind her eating. She had put on some weight and the reasons behind the overeating that was happening.

And she wrote to me that she, she saw the possibilities here and what she wanted to do was shift her mindset. That's what she said, because she was so tired of being stuck in this yo-yo cycle with food. She'd followed some of the steps that I suggested, and she was even starting to notice already that she was binging less frequently than she had.

She was having some time periods where the food really wasn't on her mind in the way it had been. Recently I heard from her again. She wanted to let me know that she would be moving on. She decided that this approach wasn't for her because she hadn't lost the weight she wanted to lose and that she was moving on to try something new because this hadn't worked. The idea that this hadn't worked, that the weight hadn't come off is founded in magical thinking. Magical thinking is the false belief that we can change everything at once. Poof. We will start doing something, we will see instant results and everything will change.

Magical thinking convinces us that if we don't see all the results quickly, it isn't working. And when you combine magical thinking with what we learn from diet mentality, oh man diet mentality tells us that weight loss is the thing that needs to happen and that weight loss should happen right away.

And so within magical thinking and diet mentality, if the first thing that happens, isn't this magical weight loss, it's a failure. And so this woman who had emailed me who was seeing results, who was feeling relief, who was feeling that emotional relief of realizing there are reasons this is happening this isn't something that's defective about me. Oh my goodness, there's a path where I can fix this.

Magical thinking combined with diet mentality, create a belief that this isn't working, that this has failed me or that I have failed at it. Here's what I want you to know. If you don't build a new foundation, whatever results you create are going to be as unstable as they have always been, because you're going to be left with that same old foundation, those same old beliefs, those same old behaviors, the same old reasons that have been there all along that have been leading you to overeat or to emotionally eat or to eat things that you don't want to eat.

Most of the women that I work with. They, they know how to lose 10 pounds quickly. They could create the formula for doing that in their sleep. Now they can't always conjure up the willpower to do that because it's exhausting and they're burnt out on doing it over and over and over again, but they know how to make it happen.

They also know that this isn't creating freedom from over. That magical path to losing 10 pounds quickly. Isn't creating lasting change it. Isn't untangling, and then losing the guilt and the shame and the deprivation thinking. And that magical path to losing 10 pounds quickly. Isn't the path to waking up in the morning and not having your first thought be about how you'll eat today or whether your pants will fit or whether yesterday was a “good day” or a “bad day” with food.

That magical solution to losing 10 pounds quickly and not keeping it off. Isn't how you break the cycle of rigid willpower and sheet days and being on track and then blowing it. And then starting over again. And by, you know, when I'm talking about breaking this cycle, I'm actually talking about forgetting this pattern, losing this pattern, walking away from this pattern and leaving it behind.

That magical thinking combined with diet mentality. It doesn't get you there. There's a very good reason that in your missing piece, which is it's my group coaching program for creating freedom from overeating, we work together for at least four months and you have lifetime access to the training materials.

The reason for that, and the reason that my one-on-one programs are a minimum of six months. Is that we need to work together to create the real change we need to build the foundation. Deep change takes time and you, you absolutely deserve the deep change. That myth of a magical solution. It sounds so sparkly, but it actually keeps people.

It keeps you stuck in trying the same thing over and over and blaming yourself when it doesn't work or it keeps you stuck in this pattern of looking for the right magical solution. The one that fits you. What's that thing I know it's out there. I have to keep buying the books. Right? I have to keep reading the magazines.

I have to keep trying these programs or these food plants or these diets magical thinking around changing your eating. Creates an impatience with yourself and it might leave you wondering what is wrong with me. Why can't I make that magical solution work or why haven't I found my magical solution? You know, when I'm teaching about creating freedom from overeating, I often start by underlining this very important fact.

You've probably heard me say it. That there's a reason you overeat always. there's also a reason you get stuck in these patterns that aren't working, even though it isn't sexy or exciting to hear the way to a new, better pattern starts with self respect and self-compassion and acknowledging that there's a reason and the ingredient that no one wants to hear about that is also essential to creating a new, better pattern is patience.

You deserve to be patient and kind and respectful to yourself as you work to create that freedom and peace with food. And I said, as you work to create that freedom and peace with food, and I embed your mind created a picture there because I want to talk about another myth. There is a myth that if it is an instant and magical, Then it is going to be a long, stressful, arduous, difficult, painful journey.

See, our thoughts are so steeped in diet mentality. Then when that, when someone tells us it's not going to be quick and magical, often all we can envision is the equivalent of a long miserable diet that doesn't create results. And who would want to? Take a minute and check in with yourself and see if that's what you saw.

When I said there's no quick fix, right? There is no magic instant solution to this. You need to take the time and have the patience to create a foundation. And guess what? Taking time and patience, giving yourself time and patience to create a new foundation. And a new way of being with food is not the equivalent of a long, miserable diet that isn't creating results.

The truth is that creating peace and freedom from overeating does take time. But in building that new, clearer, stronger foundation, you're building in things like ease and self-kindness and a stronger, better ability to address the reasons you overeat. You're doing it one step at a time at a pace that you can metabolize at a pace that works for you.

And. Along the way, some of these steps, I'm not going to lie. Some of these are they're totally new, right? So they, they feel uncomfortable and sometimes even difficult. It's like asking yourself to go left when you are so used to going, right. But ultimately this whole path, this foundation is all about creating more, ease, creating something that works for you.

Instead of plugging you into a program that you have to. Right. So giving yourself the gift of spaciousness and time to create the kind of change you want, the kind of change that feels good. This is a gift. It's a gift to give yourself space and time to do it the way that fits you. and honestly, so much of our desire for that fast, instant magical answer comes from endlessly telling yourself whether you realize you're doing it or not, that it's not okay to move at your own pace that you should be somewhere where you're not that you should have already achieved something that you haven't, you deserve permission to do it differently.

You have struggled. My client this week described the changes that she's finding in this space, because she's given herself the space and she's given herself permission to do it differently and take time. And she, she, this is how she described it this week. She said, oh my gosh, it feels like a load of bricks just got removed from my chest.

So giving yourself permission to take space and to take time and to create a relationship with food that you want to build a new foundation. It is not the equivalent of a long miserable diet. I love that description. She said it felt like taking a load of bricks off her chest, magical thinking. it helps keep you stuck in diet mentality.

And in those same patterns that haven't brought you the feelings or the results that you want. And I want to combine the results that you want with feeling the way that you want to feel. I believe you are entitled to that. There is a better way, and it isn't a life sentence to misery. It is actually a path to opening the door to something that is much, much.

If you would like help and support and tools and resources to create this for yourself and to help give you that spaciousness and that permission, then I definitely suggest you check out the, your missing piece program. Enrollment is open. You can get started right away and I've just opened enrollment for a few, six to 12 month.

Private coaching spots. If you want to work together in this. There is a path for you, magical thinking, doesn't fix what you really want fixed. That's so important, magical thinking. Doesn't fix the thing you really want fixed and the opposite of magical thinking. Isn't endless misery. The opposite of that magical thinking mixed up with diet mentality is giving yourself time, time to enjoy a process that fixes what was getting in your way, all along.

I'll talk to you soon.

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Your Missing Peace is the psychologist-designed program that provides the tools, the support, the coaching, and the confidence to create freedom from emotional eating and overeating. Finally - emotional eating help done right! Your Missing Peace is specifically designed for smart, high-achieving women who are DONE with diets, who want a lasting solution, and who are ready to take their power back from food, from overeating, and the scale. 

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